Isolation versus solidarity
‘ARTECH FOR SOLIDARITY’ wants to add a new dimension to the already existing ARTECH project, co-financed by the Creative Europe Program. ARTECH’s purpose is a rediscovery of traditional themes as an inspiration and drive for young artists in the multicultural context of European identity. The project ARTECH FOR SOLIDARITY introduces new themes as Isolation and Solidarity and aims to involve marginalized individuals in its activities.
We had a conversation with Edvin Lamce, project coordinator at Gjirokastra Foundation, who is curating the project. Edvin is a former participant of TANDEM 2018 when Gjirokastra Foundation participated with their partner Rete delle case del quartiere in the BASHKË ART CAMP 2018 in Gjirokastra. That TANDEM meeting brought together international artists from different European countries to come and work with local artists on creative projects based on heritage. After this experience, they joined ARTECH in 2020 working with different partners in Cluj Napoca, Kiev, and Comarca Maestrazgo.
“The idea of applying to the Culture of Solidarity Fund is a continuation of what the TANDEM experience was for me; a true European experience. The idea of being supported by the European Cultural Foundation made me feel part of the ‘European family’. This gave me strength to believe in ‘Our Europe’, even in this uncertain time when Europe as a concept is very much questioned,” says Edvin.
ARTECH stands for Arts, Rediscovery, Traditions, Eclectic, Contemporary, and Heritage, and it is a two year long project. It focuses on finding common ground on European cultural heritage as an inspiration. Thanks to COS grant, it will be possible to: Add ’Isolation versus Solidarity’ as parallel theme in the project; boost the artists-creators’ skills on how to cope in situations of pandemics-closures; Ensure online international interaction, and; incite the participation of artists with disabilities or from marginalized groups
The project includes joint activities for young artists and professionals coming from all over the world to be implemented in the four participating countries. The project will ensure the exchange of experiences and expertises. Part of the the project is the creation of a platform of interaction for local and international artists, to be followed by an international call for artists, and consequently the organisation of an Art Camp in Albania (April-May 2021).
The implementation of ARTECH was affected by the pandemic. Add to this the fact that many NGOs face great challenges as quite some governments don’t provide support for the cultural sector. “ARTECH FOR SOLIDARITY” is a response to the pandemic, in which artists and young creators in Albania and Europe can find support, an opportunity to interact and stay connected during these times of isolation as to plan activities post-COVID19 ahead.
From local to pan-European
By bringing together artists, creators, and heritage experts in inclusive activities the foundation wants to help in making the city of Gjirokastra accessible and more known at European level. The importance of this city is not only national, it’s pan-European, according to Edvin, and the status of Gjirokastra as a UNESCO cultural heritage proves his point. In this way the project contributes to maintain the cultural diversity but it also highlights the growing European integration. The cooperation between the project partners – with two EU member countries and the other two in the process of EU integration is in itself a symbol of solidarity. Bringing together different artists to express their creativity can help to remind us that there are no borders if we collaborate together.
Grant awarded: 5570 euros